Jackie Liu gives his best shot for one last time at the National Student Competition of Music
|Jackie Liu (劉晉甫) Photo: Jackie Liu (劉晉甫)|
By Lin Chun-ming (林君明)
Mathematical Sciences junior Jackie Liu (劉晉甫) has never participated in music classes at schools or being awarded although he has been playing erhu for 12 years, this year, he was crowned for the first prize after he played at this year’s National Student Competition of Music Erhu Solo group B.
“I've never thought about winning the contest,” Liu said. “After the result was revealed, I was astonished that my name was marked as the first prize winner. It was surprising.”
Liu said that each musical instrument would be the subject instrument for the contest, which was designed for non-music major college students, every two years, although the event is annual. It was his last chance to participate and win with his expertise – erhu, now that he is a junior.
“It was the very last time so I practiced harder than ever," Liu said. “I don’t want to feel sorry in the future.”
Liu said that he tried his best not only for himself, but for his girlfriend Irene Lu (盧意), a sophomore at the Department of Chinese Literature. Liu said that Lu showed her supports and gave encouragement from time to time.
“She has influenced me a lot, that she would help me build self-confidence,” Liu said.
Another indispensable support came from his parents, for their always being supportive on his keeping erhu as his favorite hobby, Liu said.
Liu said that he has played erhu since he was a third grader in elementary school. The massive spending included the tuition fees, orchestra membership fees, the expenses of the instruments and so on. The erhu he used in the contest, for example, cost more than NT$80,000, he said.
“It costs a lot of money to learn an instrument,” Liu said.
Before learning erhu, Liu had played cello. He thought learning cello made it easier for him to learn erhu afterwards, when he first saw and fell in love with the instrument when he was in elementary school.
“Different from other Chinese instruments, I feel very smooth while I am playing erhu with both my hands. The sound and the rhyme is flowing,” Liu said.
Liu described himself an ordinary erhu musician because he does not have that many talents as many of his competitors at the contest, but he did have lots of emotional feelings to be added into the music flow when he was playing, and many of them came from his living experiences.
“This may have something to do with my personalities. I am kind of pessimistic. I always have some dark areas for many things,” Liu said.
He said that “the Legend of Marquis Yi of Zeng,” chosen by his teacher as the master tune for him to play at the contest, was about the life of the general. Taking advantage of his emotional expressions, Liu said that he tried to show the feelings of this song during his performance at the contest.
“Even such a legend had to go through being born, aging, being sick and dying,” Liu said.
Liu has his own philosophy of life and erhu, so he did not decide to make a living by playing erhu or major in music in college.
“Making a living by erhu may come along with lots of pressure I may not be able to deal with and could probably diminish my enthusiasm for erhu. I can’t take any risks, because I love erhu so much,” Liu said. “If you do not make a living on music, many people would give up playing their musical instruments as they grow up, but I’m not one of them.”
Liu is now the head for the Alumni Chinese Orchestra of Taipei Municipal Jieshou Junior High School. For now, he said he wants to do whatever it takes to make it a better orchestra.
“I am trying to build our cohesion of the orchestra and improve our performances to do greater,” Liu said.